Two of Broadway’s most talked about Black productions are getting extensions.
Jaja’s African Hair Braiding, starring The Other Black Girl‘s Brittany Adebumola and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever‘s Dominique Thorne and the revival of Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch, starring Hamilton‘s Leslie Odom, Jr., are getting extensions on their Broadway showings. Jaja‘s African Hair Braiding will now run through Nov. 19 at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre and Purlie Victorious will run through Feb. 4, 2024.
Jaja’s African Hair Braiding is directed by Whitney White and written by Jocelyn Bioh. Lynne Meadow serves as artistic director and Chris Jennings as executive director. Madison Wells Live, LaChanze and Taraji P. Henson produce. The cast also includes Kalyne Coleman, Maechi Aharanwa, Somi Kakoma, Lakisha May, Nana Mensah, Michael Oloyede and Zenzi Williams.
The storyline follows a group of hair braiders who are making their dreams come true through their hair-styling talents. According to the official description:
This dazzling world premiere welcomes you into Jaja’s bustling hair braiding shop in Harlem where every day, a lively and eclectic group of West African immigrant hair braiders are creating masterpieces on the heads of neighborhood women. During one sweltering summer day, love will blossom, dreams will flourish and secrets will be revealed. The uncertainty of their circumstances simmers below the surface of their lives and when it boils over, it forces this tight-knit community to confront what it means to be an outsider on the edge of the place they call home.
Purlie Victorious is written by Ossie Davis, directed by Kenny Leon and produced in part by Odom and Leon with Phylicia Rashad, Alan Alda, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Samuel L. Jackson, Nnamdi Asomugha, Kerry Washington, The Shubert Organization, Louise Gund, Bob Boyett, Curt Cronin, John Joseph, Willette and Manny Klausner, Brenda Boone, Salman Moudy Al-Rashid, Creative Partners Productions, Irene Gandy, Kayla Greenspan, Mark and David Golub Productions, Ken Greiner, John Gore Organization, W3 Productions, Morwin Schmookler, Van Kaplan, Ken Greiner, Patrick W. Jones, Nicolette Robinson and the National Black Theatre.
The cast includes Vanessa Bell Calloway, Billy Eugene Jones, Noah Pyzik, Noah Robbins, Jay O. Sanders, Heather Alicia Simms, Bill Timoney, Melvin Abston, Willa Bost, Kara Young, Brandi Porter and Donald Webber Jr.
The revival brings new viewers into the world created by Davis in 1961. According to the official description:
Leslie Odom, Jr. returns to Broadway for the first time since his Tony Award-winning performance in Hamilton. Exuberant and outrageous, Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch is the joyous comedy that finds inspiration and laughs in the story of a man with a mission. Alive with love and hope, this timeless story by American Playwright laureate Ossie Davis is directed by Tony Award winner Kenny Leon (A Raisin in the Sun, Fences, Topdog/Underdog).